In the 1950s, esteemed Renaissance scholar Frederick Hartt served as curator of the Washington University art collection and professor in what was then known as the Department of Art and Archaeology. Hartt greatly expanded the Museum’s holdings during his tenure, acquiring a number of significant examples of vanguard American modernism, including seminal works by Stuart Davis, Willem De Kooning, Arthur Dove, Lyonel Feininger, Arshile Gorky, Marsden Hartley, and Jackson Pollock, as well as a notable Renaissance painting by El Greco. Frederick Hartt and American Abstraction in the 1950s: Building the Collection at Washington University in St. Louis will offer a unique view into the development of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum’s permanent collection in the 1950s, a critical moment when American avant-garde practices entered the world art scene.
A full-color exhibition brochure is available through the Museum Shop and the Museum's publications office.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch review by Calvin Wilson (June 22, 2012)
Jackson Pollock, Sleeping Effort, 1953. Oil and duco enamel on canvas, 49 7/8 x 76". University purchase, Bixby Fund, 1954.
Philip Guston, Fable I, 1956-57. Oil on canvas, 64 7/8 x 76 1/16". University purchase, Bixby Fund, 1957.
Willem de Kooning, Saturday Night, 1956. Oil on canvas, 68 3/4 x 79". University purchase, Bixby Fund, 1956.
Marsden Hartley, The Iron Cross, 1915. Oil on canvas, 47 1/4 x 47 1/4". University purchase, Bixby Fund, 1952.
El Greco, The Resurrection, c. 1600-5. Oil on canvas, 44 3/4 x 20 3/4". University purchase, Parsons Fund, 1952.